SOLIDWars: Behind the Scenes of the SOLIDWORKS 2017 What's New Skit

I was recently granted a unique (and fantastic) opportunity to join the SOLIDWORKS Product Introduction Team as they created the beloved SOLIDWORKS World What’s New Skit. This process was amazing, and I wanted to share my experience with you from a behind-the-scenes perspective. Please enjoy as I share some thoughts and photos from my journey as Princess Layout! 🙂

First things first. If you were unable to join us in Dallas, Texas this year for SOLIDWORKS World 2016, you can check out the General Sessions here. You must register to watch on-demand. On Day 3, the skit begins at 47:50.

Let’s start my story with the invitation to join the skit cast. This was my first year at SOLIDWORKS World as a SOLIDWORKS employee, and when I was invited to be a part of the skit, to say I was ‘excited’ is a bit of an understatement. When I found out the character was Princess Layout, I actually sent over my Leia portfolio (you know, just in case there were other candidates)!

SOLIDWars BTS1

Now, let it be known that the planning for SOLIDWORKS World is no joke. I’ve attended the conference in the past as both an attendee and as a technical presenter, but I had ZERO idea how much coordination and planning goes into this beast. Without a doubt, my favorite planning meetings were the ones centered around the skit and the script. These meetings and discussions began in October, and how I kept this a secret that long, I have no idea! 🙂 How this works: we were offered a preliminary script from screenwriter-extraordinaire, Ian Pilkington (you may know him as Dark Screensaver). From there, the team/cast met on a weekly basis to go over our lines, suggest possible changes, and to discuss possible models for use both during filming and during the live demo portion of Day 3 at SOLIDWORKS World.

SOLIDWars Collage P1SOLIDWars Collage P2What would a Star Wars skit be without amazing Community provided models and content to support it? Beginning late October, we’ve featured some beautiful Star Wars content from you in the Community. If you missed any of them, please support their creators and take a look!

SOLIDWORKS Meets Star Wars
SOLIDWORKS Meets Star Wars

 

Kirby Downey AT-AT 1-1
Designing for 3D Printing with an AT-AT

 

When the script was locked, we filmed the skit over a couple of days. On the first day, we went through a final review of the script, tried on our costumes, and filmed the parking garage scene. My favorite moment of day one came when Dark Screensaver hit the brakes so hard Stoormtrooper 1 lost his helmet!

SOLIDWars BTS Costumes

SOLIDWars BTS Garage

The bulk of the filming was done over one, long December day at the SOLIDWORKS offices in Waltham, Massachusetts. Filming began at 7am, and ended around 11pm. If you look closely, you’ll see that in some shots, it’s daytime outside, and in others, night has fallen.

SOLIDWars Candids

SOLIDWars Work

My favorite moment of day two filming, was the review of the elevator scene. There are many, many moving parts to filming the skit, and for this brief moment, everyone stopped to enjoy what we were creating.

SOLIDWars Elevator

Excepting a few reviews of the video content, my skit journey ended on the day of filming. Maybe next year you’ll see me on mainstage! 🙂 What should the 2017 skit theme be? Tell me in the comments! I will submit my favorite idea of yours to the Product Introduction team when planning begins for SOLIDWORKS World 2017.

As always, thanks for reading! I hoped you’ve enjoyed this quick look behind the scenes! If you have a story you’d like to tell, please feel free to reach out to me at SOLIDWORKS.Social@3ds.com!

P.S. I want to answer the question I’ve heard the most – was it your real hair? YES!!! …with quite a bit of hardware and hairspray! What kind of Princess wears a wig?! 🙂

SOLIDWars BTS Hair

Rachel Diane York

Community and User Advocacy Manager at SOLIDWORKS
I was the founding member of the Tech Valley SOLIDWORKS User Group and a huge fan of our fantastic Community. I've taught and provided technical support for SOLIDWORKS as well as presented at many user group events. In my spare time I enjoy: billiards, reading, and playing video games. Please feel free to reach out!